How to Set the Tax Rate
The work begins with the valuation process. Valuation of property is done on a yearly cycle.
The Department of Revenue now mandates that Assessors do Interim Year Adjustments when necessary along with the traditional five year revaluation of all property within the Town. Sales are reviewed to get an estimated market value of each and every parcel in Mansfield. Building permits require field work along with previous year in completions. Subdivision plans are reviewed for lot splits.
Once values are established and certified by the Department of Revenue classification is done.
Classification is the coding of all parcels within the Town into four classes of property: Residential, Open Space, Commercial and Industrial, and Personal Property. At this point, Assessors deliver values certified by the Department of Revenue to the Selectman. The Selectmen determine whether the Town should have one single tax rate or a “classified” rate. Classified rates may favor the open space, residential, or the commercial/industrial properties.
Set the Tax Rate
The next step is to set the tax rate.
With all values proved and classification done, the recapitulation form is completed showing all Town Meeting spending revenues received to figure a rate. The recap form then is sent to the Department of Revenue for approval. The rate is usually set within a few days, barring any difficulties. Once the rate is set the total levy is committed to the treasurer to send tax bills. Our annual job is done at this point and we start all over again for the next year. The Department of Revenue mandates a total revaluation every third year with interim year adjustments made where necessary to maintain “Full and Fair Market Value.